Gateway Gazette

Special Air Quality Statement in Effect for Southern Alberta

4:18 AM MDT Thursday 31 August 2017
Special air quality statement in effect for:

  • M.D. of Foothills near Cayley
  • M.D. of Foothills near High River and Aldersyde
  • M.D. of Foothills near Longview and Eden Valley Res.
  • M.D. of Foothills near Okotoks and De Winton
  • M.D. of Foothills near Priddis and Brown-Lowery Prov. Park
  • M.D. of Foothills near Turner Valley and Black Diamond
  • M.D. of Willow Creek near Claresholm and Stavely
  • M.D. of Willow Creek near Nanton and Parkland
  • Rocky View Co. near Bragg Creek and Tsuu T’ina Res.

Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring.

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.

Visit http://www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.

Issued by Environment Canada, Alberta Environment and Parks and Alberta Health

AHS: Air Quality Advisories

When an air quality advisory is in effect, all individuals living in or travelling within the affected area are advised to be aware of potential health concerns that can be associated with poor air quality conditions, and take the following precautions to reduce exposure and risk:

  • If air quality is because of smoke reduce presence of smoke in indoor environments:
    • Close and lock all outside windows and doors, including attached garage doors.
    • Turn down furnace thermostats and furnace fans to the minimum setting. Do not attempt to extinguish pilot light.
    • If you have an air-conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
    • Avoid running fans, such as “whole-house fans” or “fresh air ventilation systems”, that bring more smoky outdoor air inside.
    • Switch all floor registers to closed position.
    • Close fire place dampers on wood burning fireplaces.
    • Do not use wood burning fireplace, wood stoves or other smoke-producing appliances or features, including candles.
  • If you must drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run car fans on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.
  • Reduce levels of physical activity, as necessary, to decrease the inhalation of airborne pollutants.
  • Do not smoke tobacco – smoking puts added stress on your lungs and those around you.
  • Residents are reminded not to use backyard fire pits or fire boxes in parks when the air quality risk is high or very high, as it is now.

Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms, due to the poor air quality conditions. These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.

Children and elderly are also at higher risk of smoke-related illness.

Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link at 811 to speak to a registered nurse.

Air quality can vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds. Because air quality is expected to be variable, advisories will remain in effect until further notice.

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated regularly on the Alberta Environment and Parks Website at www.airquality.alberta.ca.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply